GLASGOW – Neil Lennon resigned as Celtic supervisor on Wednesday after a disastrous season for the Glasgow giants, with fierce rivals Rangers on the point of a primary Scottish Premiership title in a decade.
The Northern Irishman took cost for a second spell in February 2019 when Brendan Rodgers left and led the membership to 2 titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup.
Celtic have been chasing a historic 10th consecutive top-flight title this season however their marketing campaign was thrown into disarray on and off the pitch.
The reigning champions are 18 factors behind Rangers and defeat to Ross County on Sunday left Steven Gerrard’s males simply seven factors away from the title.
Celtic additionally crashed out of Europe within the Champions League qualifiers and Europa League group phases, resulting in fan protests exterior the membership’s stadium and on-line calls from supporters for Lennon to go.
“Celtic Soccer Membership at present introduced that Neil Lennon has resigned from his place as soccer supervisor with instant impact,” stated a membership assertion.
“Neil has served the membership with distinction as each participant and supervisor, delivering quite a few successes, most just lately finishing the home treble in December.”
Lennon stated within the assertion: “We’ve skilled a tough season resulting from so many components and, in fact, it is rather irritating and disappointing that we’ve not been in a position to hit the identical heights as we did beforehand.”
The Celtic hierarchy, led by chief government Peter Lawwell, who’s to face down on the finish of the season, stood by their supervisor lengthy after sensible hope of catching Rangers was gone.
However Sunday’s 1-Zero defeat to Ross County, who began the sport backside of the desk, proved the ultimate straw.
– Trophy haul –
Lennon stepped in two years in the past initially on a brief foundation when Rodgers left mid-season to take cost of Premier League facet Leicester.
After inheriting an eight-point lead, the Northern Irishman noticed Celtic over the road within the league as Rangers faltered in Gerrard’s first season in cost at Ibrox and received the Scottish Cup to finish a 3rd consecutive treble of home trophies.
Lawwell instantly supplied Lennon the job completely within the dressing room after the Scottish Cup last in a transfer that has since been fiercely criticised by fan teams.
Nonetheless, Celtic accomplished one other clear sweep within the 2019/20 season as Lennon’s facet constructed up a 13-point lead on the high of the desk earlier than the marketing campaign was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
A points-per-game method was used to award a ninth straight title, matching the feats of Celtic’s greatest-ever facet from 1965 to 1974 and the big-spending Rangers group managed by Graeme Souness and Walter Smith from 1988 to 1997.
In December, victory on penalties over Hearts accomplished a fourth consecutive treble within the delayed 2019/20 Scottish Cup last and Lennon grew to become the primary man to win the Scottish home treble as a participant and supervisor.
Nonetheless, by then the wheels had already come off Celtic’s season with a string of disappointing leads to Europe and Rangers constructing a commanding lead within the league.
A 1-Zero victory for Gerrard’s males within the second Outdated Agency derby of the season on January 2 opened up a 19-point lead.
Worse was to come back for Celtic as Lennon’s squad instantly jetted out from defeat at Ibrox for an ill-judged mid-season coaching camp in Dubai.
Footage of Lennon and captain Scott Brown ingesting beer by a poolside enraged followers and when defender Christopher Jullien examined optimistic for coronavirus on Celtic’s return to Glasgow, 13 first-team gamers plus Lennon and assistant supervisor John Kennedy have been compelled to self-isolate for 10 days.
A severely depleted squad misplaced additional floor and Rangers’ march to the title grew to become a formality.
Kennedy can be put in caretaker cost with the duty of denying the blue facet of Glasgow the last word prize of profitable the league once they go to Celtic Park on March 21.